A friend of mine, Mackenzie, and I were just talking about how our favorite way to eat things is in a bowl with all the different components layered together and eaten together. It has a familiar comfort food feel and is just simply more satisfying to eat for any meal of the day. Yes, there's a place for portioned out meals with mains and sides, but I tend to gravitate towards the one-pot/one-plate kind of feel.
And topped with some sort of egg? Even better. The poached egg in this particular equation creates a velvety sauce of its own, kept bright by a good vinaigrette. French lentils make up the base, alongside French feta which tastes quite different from traditional feta - it's earthy and salty, and slightly reminiscent of goat cheese. The combination of flavors is simple and rustic and delicious.
1 T champagne vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, whole
¼ tsp dried Mediterranean oregano
Combine ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar, and whisk (or shake) until emulsified. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use (best if made a few hours, or up to one day, ahead).
French lentils with lemon vinaigrette, feta, and poached egg
Using The Kitchn's directions for cooking lentils
Yields 3-4 servings
1 cup dried French lentils
2 cups water, plus a little more later
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, whole
½ tsp Mediterranean oregano
¾-1 tsp sea salt, to taste
⅓ cup or so chopped parsley
¼ cup or so French feta
Whole eggs for poaching
Dash of smoked paprika
Extra virgin olive oil to finish (and salt/pepper)
(Make sure you've already made the vinaigrette, recipe above)
In a colander, rinse lentils well under running water. Place them in a medium sauce pan and cover with 2 cups water. Add in bay leaf, garlic, oregano, and black pepper (NOT salt at this stage). Over medium-high heat, bring to a rapid simmer, and then reduce the heat to low to maintain a very gentle simmer with just a couple bubbles and the slightest bit of movement in the lentils. Cook, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes (until tender), adding a little more water - maybe ¼ cup or so - halfway through if need be (you want the lentils to be just barely covered until the end). Meanwhile, heat a pot of water for poaching eggs (I use this method). When lentils are done, dispose of the bay leaf and garlic cloves and drain lentils in a colander. Transfer them to a bowl and salt them to taste. Toss with lemon vinaigrette and chopped parsley. Divide into serving bowls, and top each with some crumbled feta. Poach eggs (should only take 2-3 minutes), and carefully place an egg on each bowl of lentils. Season each egg with salt and pepper, as well as a pinch of smoked paprika. Drizzle each bowl with a little extra virgin olive oil, and serve right away.